The best ever Mud Cake…

Over the last few weeks, I have been trying several chocolate mud cake recipe – using the same brand of cocoa powder and chocolate.  Each time I tried a recipe, I thought, yeah, that is alright.  BUT… when I made a batch using the recipe I found on the Cakepaperparty website www.cakepaperparty.com, I can now confirmed that it is the best mud cake recipe ever!  I will never try any other recipes.

Below is the excerpt taken from the Cakepaperparty website. I have reposted here just in case I am unable to find the recipe :-).

AMERICAN MUD CAKE

Mud Cake, the decadent chocolate gift of the Aussies, has for some reason always given me a world of trouble! (I cannot tell you how many Mud Cakes I have had flop.)  Even when they did turn out, the mega deep chocolate flavour I sought was not there.  Here I have finally made peace with my cakey nemesis and the results will knock your socks off.

Let me explain why Mud Cake gave me such a hard time and let you in on the fixes that finally brought about our peace treaty.

Problem #1:  Lack of internal structure. Mud Cake is essentially like a brownie with lots of water added. There are high concentrations of butter, chocolate and sugar (all structure weakeners) along with much water or coffee (a structure diluter) and very little flour (a structure builder). The flour profile often contains a mix of both all-purpose and self-rising flour.  Self-rising flour contains little protein and further reduces the structural integrity of the cake. The result is a dense moist cake with little rise.

While that may sound appealing, it can easily go wrong.  I have had my Mud Cakes separate into odd unsavoury layers or crumble out of the pan in a disjointed mess.

Problem #2: Lack of flavor. While Mud Cake has always shown some promise to me. (Or just really ticked my off and challenged my baking skills). I knew it needed a flavor boost.  Mud Cakes often boast large quantities of semisweet or dark chocolate but this cake needed something stronger if it was going to really meet my chocolate standards.

So at last I went head to head with my rival.

The Solutions.

  • Convert to all all-purpose flour and increase the volume by 1/2 cup. This bolsters the protein and starch to improve structure.
  • Add baking soda to neutralize structure undermining acids in the form of coffee, chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • Change the mixing method. Forget the gentle stirring together of dry ingredients and liquids; mix them together in a mixer and beat for a good minute and a half to develop structure proteins.
  • Lose the wimpy semisweet chocolate and use at least 72% cacao dark chocolate for deep and complex flavor.
  • Increase cocoa powder from 1/4 to 1/2 cup for rich, dark flavor.
  • Add 1 tablespoon vanilla to balance and round out the taste.

The Result.

This cake is packed with chocolate-yness. It is both intense and nuanced from the combination of dark chocolate and lots of rich cocoa. Be prepared with a tall, cold glass of milk when you sit down with a piece of this cake. The cake also maintains the luscious fudgy texture of a Mud Cake but is less dense and has much greater structure than its counterpart. (I turned these cakes out without sticking or tearing.)

So, goodbye to my arch enemy and hello to tall dark and handsome.  This may no longer be a traditional Australian Mud Cake but I think this American Mud Cake is better than ever.

To compliment to intensity of this cake I frosted it in a dark Sour Cream Chocolate frosting. This icing is not too sweet and beautifully balances with the flavors in this cake.

Below are more tips when baking a perfect mud cake from online site.

Below are more tips when baking a perfect mud cake from Louise Vansleve “Learn Cake Decorating” online site.

With our humid weather, cake decorators in Australia prefer to use ganache under their fondant instead of buttercream, allowing greater stability in warm weather and also allowing us to get those sharp edges on our cakes that we are known for. When using ganache, a denser, stronger cake is required, hence our love of mud cakes.

These stronger cakes also lend themselves to carving, which allows cake decorators to sculpt their cakes using ganache as putty. This results in artistic and gravity defying sculptures that would otherwise only be seen in clay or modelling chocolate!

  1. Mud cakes need long and slow cooking if you want to prevent crusting
  2. Mud cakes can benefit from using baking strips  around the sides –  3 layers of damp paper towel encased in foil – secured with a small bull-dog clip. I use Wilton baking strips. However, the strips are pretty narrow and is good for 3inch high cakes. Anything higher, I use towel strips. 
  3. To help keep your cake to bake level and prevent cracked domed tops – a piece of foil – scrunched at the corners and laid across the extended height baking paper (often referred to as ‘tenting’)  will help.
  4. ALWAYS allow your mud cake to cool in the tin.
  5. If cutting into thin layers – support your layers with a cake board when moving to help prevent breaking – even though it is a dense cake – texture is still delicate and needs to be handled with care. It is much easier to cut when frozen.
  6. Mud cakes freeze exceptionally well. Many decorators freeze their mud cakes as a defrosted mud cake is often a moist cake.
  7. If you have any of chocolate mud cake and ganache leftover, you have instant pudding! Freeze the remaining cake in portion sizes and then when you need a quick dessert, simply thaw in a microwave and the ganache will melt into the cake giving you an instant warm pudding-like cake.
  8. If you want to keep your repertoire with cakes quite small,  don’t be afraid to add flavours to your mud cakes  with your ganaches and syrups. You can read more about flavouring your cakes with essential oils here

 

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